Why you should start playing golf this year

As we start to venture out with Covid-19 restrictions slowly being lifted, the appeal of golf has never been higher. Here’s why now is the perfect time to get into the swing of things.

Following a period of time when our personal health and restrictions to our freedoms have both been high on the agenda, it’s a great time to take up the sport. Not only is playing golf extremely beneficial to our physical and mental wellbeing, it’s a great way to socialise with friends, make new connections, and enjoy the great outdoors both at home and abroad – all the things we’ve been missing.

Health benefits

The health benefits of playing golf are once again at the forefront of the sport’s appeal. Appealing to a wider age group than most sports, it’s fantastic exercise whether you’re young or old. During a round of 18 holes, golfers walk an average of 9km and will burn around 2,000 calories – a great way to lose those extra pounds put on during lockdown.

Mental health wellbeing

Our mental health has also been put under pressure during lockdown, and golf is a great way to get those happy endorphin hormones working. Regular golf can help reduce anxiety, improve confidence and boost self-esteem, all of which contribute to improved mental wellbeing. Golfers will often talk about how golf is a great way to ‘get away from it all’, not just to enjoy some peace and quiet and fresh air, but the focus the game demands is a great way to cleanse the mind for a few hours and forget any worries you might have.

Socialising and making digital connections

Golf is of course a great way to get together with friends and make new connections, but the younger generation is connecting through golf in another way. Social media is such a huge part of modern life and it’s helping to drive the modernisation of golf. Golf clubs have been very proactive in making sure you can check-in, interact with other players online, and share your experiences on various platforms.

A safe sport to play

With social distancing easier to manage compared to other sports, and the fact golfers use their own equipment, golf is one of the safest sports to play. And keen to get people back on the fairways, golf clubs have been closely following and clearly sign-posting measures laid out by the sport’s governing bodies to make sure golf courses and golf clubs are safe places for the public to visit.

The great outdoors

Golf is an opportunity to enjoy beautiful natural surroundings, and this appeal is perhaps more appreciated now than ever before, particularly for those living in large towns and cities, having spent months cooped up at home with non-essential travel to more rural areas largely prohibited. Golf courses are some of the most beautiful places to spend a few hours and appreciate Mother Nature.

More affordable

Clubs as well as public courses are now offering more affordable green fees and the option of just playing a quicker nine rather than 18 holes. There’s also cheaper par-3 courses which are a great introduction to the game. Many public or pay-and play courses are very reasonably priced, from around €20 to €30 for a full round. Most clubs also offer the option of hiring a full set of clubs, though there’s never been so much affordable equipment to buy so you don’t have to start top-end and spend a small fortune.

New modern ways to learn

Over recent years, golf has undergone an image makeover and the sport is now more accessible than ever before. There’s new ways to learn and enjoy the game for the next generation of players with some clubs offering night-time golf and floodlit driving ranges. New versions of the sport such as TopGolf, bar-like venues where you hit from driving bays at targets for points while enjoying drinks, food and music, also offer a great way for young people to get into the game.

Relax and enjoy!

The rules of golf have been relaxed in recent years with directives from both the USGA and R&A, golf’s chief rule setters, now allowing casual players much more interpretation of the rules that pros are subjected to. And dress codes are less strict, too. Golf shoes nowadays look more like trainers and the likes of PGA Tour star Tyrrell Hatton wears a hoodie during tournaments.

Golf holidays

We have all been subjected to travel restrictions for the past year or so and the thought of a golf holiday has never been more appealing. Playing golf gives you, your family and friends, the chance to enjoy some of the most beautiful golf resorts around the world which offer stay and play options, luxurious accommodation, spas and fantastic dining options.

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